Collision Bend Brewery’s Lake Erie Sunset, $8.99 per six-pack
The beer: This pale wheat ale gets its sunset color from blood oranges for a nice, tart finish. “We use what’s called a sour malt, a little bit of acid at the end that gives it more of a tart finish than a sweet finish,” explains brewmaster Luke Purcell. “It makes you want another one.” The can: The views from Collision Bend’s expansive patio are so beautiful that Purcell came up with the name of this beer long before he conceived of the beer itself. Naturally, the can depicts a bright orange and yellow sunset as seen from the brewery’s waterside location on the East Bank of the Flats.
Goldhorn Brewery’s Polka City Pilsner, $8.99 per six-pack
The beer: Before craft breweries dominated the beer scene, most canned beers were light, drinkable Pilsners. The Polka City Pilsner — made with Styrian goldings, a Slovenian hop that nods to Goldhorn’s neighborhood roots — harkens to those simpler days with an elevated version of a crisp, accessible lager that appeals to seasoned craft beer drinkers and newbies alike. The can: The can features the silhouette of the legendary animal behind the brewery’s name: the goldhorn, a long-horned mountain goat of Slovenian folklore. “It looked like it belonged on a can for a company that was trying to make an Old World style of beer,” says head brewer Joel Warger.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s Lightkeeper Blonde Ale, $8.99 per six-pack
The beer: When Great Lakes began canning some of its beers in 2017, Lightkeeper was an obvious choice, says brewmaster Mark Hunger. This year-round favorite is made with Simcoe hops, a varietal that gives the beer a uniquely piney aroma, while still remaining approachable and drinkable. “It really is what makes this beer,” Hunger says. The can: This colorful can, designed in the style of Great Lakes’ other labels, is an illustrated nod to the historic Marblehead Lighthouse north of Sandusky. “It tips the cap to the fact that we’re on the great Lake Erie,” Hunger says. “You could drink this while on a boat or fishing or just enjoying the lake.”
Masthead Brewing Co.’s Midwest Red IPA, $10.99 per four-pack
The beer: This double red ale, which was a bronze medal winner at the Great American Beer Fest in 2017, has a malt flavor like an amber ale but is hopped like an IPA. It was inspired by the West Coast red ales that founder and head brewer Mike Pelechaty fell in love with in San Diego. The can: The Midwest Red IPA’s simple can design features — you guessed it — the color red. “We want to make it appealing to the eye so people can be able to walk into a beer store and do what they really want to do,” Pelechaty says, “which is get home and drink it.”
Saucy Brew Works’ Who Is This?, $11.99 per four-pack
The beer: Eric Anderson, director of brewing at this Hingetown brewery-slash-pizzeria, put his spin on New England’s hazy IPA trend with a murky imperial ale made with fruity hops reminiscent of passion fruit, mango and guava. “The haze comes from the yeast that we use, and even if we filter it, it doesn’t come out,” Anderson says. “It’s permanently hazy.” The can: Both Anderson and head brewer Kevin Kowalski are huge Seinfeld fans, so this beer’s name comes from the line Jerry often uses when answering frantic phone calls from George. Printed on the bottom of the can, in very small letters, is a second show reference only diehards will understand: “Uncle Leo?”